The July 2014 Google Places Local update for business owners has been the talk of the SEO world over the last 24 hours. Thousands of DUI lawyers, dentists, optometrists, personal injury lawyers and orthodontists are scrambling to better understand why they dropped out of the “Google Maps Local 7 Pack” or why they are now getting so many phone calls. For more on this topic use my Google Local Places Search Algorithm Update resource which will continue to be tweaked over the coming days and weeks.
Domain Authority and the number of links pointing back to a URL has been much discussed over the last several years. Heck, since SEO became an industry. All website owners want to rank as high as possible and it doesn’t happen overnight. Any SEO firm or agency that claims they can help you rank for a competitive keyword phrase overnight is fooling you. They may be able to do it but you will receive a nice Panda or Penguin penalty shortly thereafter and you won’t be on the first 10 pages of Google. Building natural, organic links takes time but it is extremely valuable.
Domain Authority and the Importance for Google Local Search
By using Open Site Explorer or AHRefs, website owners can see their Domain Authority and Page Authority. The value ranges from 1 to 100 with higher being better. Websites like Reddit, CNN and Wikipedia have a domain authority and page authority in the mid to high 90s. In laymen’s terms, this is the value of your website in the eyes of the Google algorithm. How many quality links are pointing back to your page and is the content being referenced in ways that are valuable to users across the web.
If you are a Raleigh HVAC Company and you have links from a Norwegian Cruise Blog that discusses only cruises Alaska, Hawaii and the Bahamas one would guess this is not a natural link. Unfortunately, there are thousands of service professionals that have bad links spread across the web. There are back link removal tools and the disavow tool is available in Google Webmaster Tools but these bad links are like a virus, they just keep spreading.
Before deciding to spend thousands of dollars on a back link removal tool it might be best to look at the overall business model. Sometimes it is best to start from scratch as you will know, without a shadow of a doubt, there are not bad links coming to your site. Remember, everything is good in moderation. You are never going to be able to stop all the links pointing towards your site. It is simply impossible. Google knows that. They also know that 4253 links should not point back to a San Diego personal injury lawyer from blogs hosted in Singapore.
Rather than obsessing about domain authority and how it is affecting the brand new Google Local Search, as of July 2014, I would strongly suggest building natural links. I have several monthly packages available, including consultation, that can help your business create a strong website that will receive natural links.
How to Improve Domain Authority
The best way to improve domain authority is to offer true expertise in your industry or vertical. If you are truly a business professional in a specific industry you should have connections and knowledge that others do not have. Put that knowledge to use in the form of content on your website. I know that most business professionals do not have time to sit and hash out three 1500 word articles. They likely do have the time to do a podcast or a YouTube video. Do not think that content has to be blog posts. Heck, you can even create a graphic that displays your expertise.
The most important thing to remember is to provide value. If you are copying what the lawyer or doctor across the street is doing, you are not providing value. Offer content in a different way. Break news in your industry. Offer your opinion on a hot topic that may not be available anywhere on the Internet. Providing this great content will make others want to link back to your resources. When this happens, you will never have to worry about SEO or the updates in the Google Local Places listings.